"This world: a monster of energy, without beginning, without end; a firm, iron magnitude of force that does not grow bigger or smaller, that does not expend itself but only transforms itself; as a whole, of unalterable size, a household without expenses, or losses, but likewise without increase or income; enclosed by 'nothingness' as by a boundary…"

--Nietzsche, Will to Power

Death Denies Him a Last Cigarette/Queen Anne/Tues March 29/10:30 pm: Officer Omelanchuk writes: "I arrived at the wooded area at approximately 10:30 p.m. I saw the victim lying outside of the hutch at the location. I inspected the body of the victim and did not find anything suspicious surrounding his death. I contacted witness one and witness two. They told me the following: They were seated inside the hutch with the victim… They saw the suspect rolling a cigarette. Then the suspect dropped the cigarette, grasped for air, and fell over to his left. The witnesses called 911; shortly after police and fire arrived. Medic 10 personnel attempted to resuscitate victim with negative results…"

What's striking about this report is that the victim appears to have been murdered by death. One minute he is rolling a cigarette; the next minute he is grasping for air. It's as if death had been hiding in the woods near the hutch, waiting for the moment when the victim least expected an attack. After packing a line of tobacco neatly along the middle of a thin piece of white paper, after licking and twisting it, the victim's neck is suddenly seized by an iron hand--a hand that will tighten and will not let go until there is nothing left to hold. A moment before, the victim was in the world (Verfallen), involved in attaining a small pleasure from it; now he is in the moment of truth (Eigentlichkeit), and the world all around him (the woods, the rising Magnolia Bridge, the lights of the homes and apartments on Queen Anne Hill) is melting away, as the invisible/invincible hand squeezes the life out of him.

But that's all in our imagination; it's not death that is killing the poor man in the park (it just looks that way), but his own body. His system of organs has been shut down by, most probably, a tiny piece of fat that was floating through a major artery when it happened to completely cover the passage that remained in a clogged artery. Inside, a very tiny event results in what appears, to witness one and two, to be a man violently struggling with the invisible force of death.

The Sorrow of Bellingham's Swans/Whatcom County/Mon April 11/Noon: Admittedly, this was not in a police report; it was instead in a local newspaper, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Suspecting that many of you missed it, as it was a very small article in a very big daily, I have decided to share its sad beauty with you: "The number of swan deaths attributed to ingestion of lead shot has nearly doubled in the past 15 months to 1,850 in Whatcom County and British Columbia," writes the unnamed reporter. "Between 1998 and January 2004, about 1,000 swans were found dead in that region. Scientists are studying the deaths and the source of the lead pellets that contributed to the die-off."